In my opinion, one of the most important things you own and use is your credit card. Many people are clueless as to how easy it is for hackers to get your information and make fraudulent charges. It’s no surprise that fraudsters target credit cards more than any other type of payment. And most of these criminals are very clever. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of little hacks and tools you can use to prevent credit card fraud from ever happening to you. Nothing is full-proof. There is no bulletproof method because the nefarious game of credit card hacking seems like it will never end. And it feels like it’s always evolving and innovating. With that said, check out our list of the best tools and hacks to help keep your cards safe.
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My Favorite Hacks To Prevent Credit Card Fraud
Credit card companies often include many free features and tools to help deal with rampant card and identity theft. It is a high priority for them because if the public loses trust in credit card safety, these companies will have a massive problem on their hands. But these tools range from the ability to lock your card from purchases, thorough monitoring of the dark web, and a slew of other cool things. Aside from what they offer, there are some other hacks you can do that will give you an added level of security when making purchases with your card. Your challenge is to just try one of these this week. Make it a priority to take control of security in this digital world.
Use Your Credit Card Company’s App
This is a no-brainer. And I’m still shocked when I find people who don’t use an app to help manage their credit cards. Yes, you can still go online. Yes, you can still wait for that paper statement to arrive in the mail where you can send a check in each month to pay off your credit card statement. But for real…use your credit card company’s app! Credit card apps can help you track your spending. You can see exactly where you are spending your money and how much you are spending each month. This information can be really helpful in budgeting and making sure you are not overspending. Furthermore, you can get immediate notifications sent to your phone on every transaction.
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Credit card apps can also help you stay on top of your payments. You can set up reminders for when your bill is due and track your payment history. This can help you avoid late fees and keep your credit score high. Credit card apps can help you get rewards for using your credit card. Many credit cards offer rewards points for every purchase you make. These points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, or merchandise. A lot of times, you must have the app to unlock those rewards (or at least redeem them).
Biometrics, Digital Wallets, And Contactless Card
Use biometrics whenever you can. This will most likely require you to use payments through Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay through your smartphone. I almost always use biometrics to pay versus a normal credit card. Biometrics are simply measurements of physical or behavioral characteristics. They can be used to identify individuals and verify their identity. The most common biometrics include fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition. Biometrics are becoming increasingly popular as a way to authenticate users (and not just with buying things either), especially in the realm of digital security. That’s because biometrics are unique to each individual and they’re very difficult to fake. Because of this, biometrics offer one of the highest levels of security when buying goods.
Contactless cards are another great feature to help reduce credit card fraud. They can be identified by a logo that looks like the Wi-Fi symbol of radiating waves. It leverages technology where you don’t have to put the card in a POS system.
If your credit card company has this service, enable it right now. Card lock or card freeze lets you essentially “turn off” your credit card to foil would-be thieves, which is particularly helpful if you lose it. Most of the time, you can use the mobile app to activate an On/Off switch for this feature.
Credit Card Alerts And Notifications
We’ve already written a post on why you need to enable notifications on all your credit card transactions. This little tips can prevent a lot of loss IF your credit card does get hacked. Time is of the essence with hackers. If you can identify fraud quickly, you can seriously save your bacon when involved with fraud. Alerts allow you to also stay in the know on what’s happening with your account or any other security news and updates.
Never Store Credit Card Info On Your Phone
Let me explain. Sometimes I’ve seen people take pictures of their credit cards or write down their number with a CVC code in a Notes app on their phone. Big no-no. Just don’t do it. Now…if you wanted to use an app or service like LastPass Password Manager and leverage their secure notes feature…that’s not a bad idea. It’s much safer than just valuable personal information on your phone where it’s not password protected or encrypted.
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Only Buy From Websites That Are Secure
This is another no-brainer, but I’ll take this a step further. Don’t ever put your personal information on any form on one of these sites. In fact, I’ll take this even one step further. Don’t even visit sites that aren’t secure. How do you know if a site is secure or not? If you look in the top left of the address bar right before the web URL on almost all browsers, you’ll see a little lock symbol. If you don’t, the site isn’t secure.